Review by general531

"A slamming good time"

Professional wrestling has produced some very good games in the late 1990s. Games like WCW Revenge and WWF Wrestlemania 2000 were among the best. Fast forward to 2005. The WWE (formerly the WWF) releases WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006. This game is loaded with match types, game modes, and online play. It will take you days and days to play through all match types. The graphics give this game a televised appearance. The animation is smooth and controls are overall good. WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006 is one of the best wrestling games ever.

The graphics are realistic and flashy, giving this game a televised look. The entrances are filled with pyrotechnics, flashing lights, and excellent camera angles. The animation is smooth. The detail is second to none. The camera effects during certain actions and moves is nice and at times make you wince. The arenas have a realistic appearance. The collision detection and very minor clipping are problematic however.

The control in SVR06 is intuitive. Using the D-pad to move your grappler and using a button and pad combo to pull off moves is also easy to execute. All wrestlers control the same way, adding to the ease of the game.

There are two types of controls. The other setting has you using the left stick to do what the directional pad does.

The control does have problems. Sometimes you may accidentally hit your partner in a Tornado Tag Match or a referee. The problems with collision detection contribute to accidental striking of those who were not your target.

Overall the controls are great and easy to learn.

Game Design:
WWE SVR06 is loaded with matches and modes. There are numerous match types, a captivating season mode, and an all-new General Manager Mode. The game also features a PSP link to unlock hidden content and wrestlers.

The match types vary greatly. The types include, but not limited to: single matches, tag-team matches, triple-threats, royal rumbles, battle royals, cage matches, backstage brawls, and cage matches. The different types of matches also have different numbers of opponents. One match type can have numerous combinations of competitors, adding even more to the variety. Playing only the exhibition mode will keep you entertained for weeks.

The season mode returns. It takes you through roughly a year of a wrestler's career. The mode has 2 divisions: a Raw division and a Smackdown division. The wrestler you select determines which season you go through. There are four stories in a season, seven stories in all. Four of the stories are exclusive to the type of season. A legends tour, which applies to both seasons, replaces a story depending on which grappler you use. The last two stories are automatic for all wrestlers in both seasons. The story lines in both seasons are entertaining and will keep you playing. You might want to be proficient in many match types, though. Thankfully, you do not have to win all of the matches.

WWE SVR06 features a new mode: the General Manager mode. In this mode, you take control of either the Raw or Smackdown brands. You schedule matches, keep track of your wrestlers' injuries, and increase your fan base. Your objective in the end is to win GM of the year. I found this mode rather dull, but you can check it out if you wish.

WWE SVR06 features about 15 arenas. You can choose whichever arena you want, but certain match types pre-determine your arena.

The wrestlers have stamina. Performing high-impact moves will lower your wrestler's stamina. You can recover your stamina via inactivity or by holding select. You can turn stamina off altogether in the Options menu.

This game has three kinds of create modes. You can create a wrestler, a belt, or a pay-per-view. The create-a-wrestler had numerous features to adjust your grappler. The create-a-championship feature has you making a custom title that you can put on the line in online matches. The create-a-PPV has you making a wrestling event.

The exhibition mode also has championship matches. There are about ten titles in all. Some titles can only be won with certain wrestlers. You can't use a 400-pounder to win the Cruiserweight title.

There are a boatload of features in SVR06. There are about 40 wrestlers in all and the numerous match types will keep you playing for a long time.

SVR06 has excellent audio. The entrance music of the superstars are just like what you hear at the events or on tv. The menu soundtrack consists of heavy metal and rap.

The sound effects really add to the realism. The impacts on the canvas, the bangs of chairs, and the bells are excellently done.

The voicing is great, but you might want to turn off the play-by-play.

WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006 is a great game. The match types vary greatly, the season mode is excellent, the create modes will keep you busy. There are numerous unlockables involve wrestlers, trophies, loading screens, and championship belts. This game will keep you playing for quite a while. I would recommend this game, even if you are not a professional wrestling fan.

Score: 9 out of 10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/05/07

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